| Ask The Style Chefs: May 2009 Archives

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May 2009 Archives

Q. I found a very simple cut rayon tank dress with a very small floral print at a thrift shop and it hits about mid-thigh. Can I wear this as a belted tunic over skinny jeans? What would be the most updated way to use this dress? Accessory ideas, shoes, etc. would also help.

Also, I have a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses from 1987. Would I look dated if I wore them? They are good quality sunglasses and they just sit there. It seems the big glasses are back in again, am I right?

I like to be Thrifty but stylish.

A. Sounds like your floral tank dress was a great find! A classic shape in a classic print that just also happens to be very in style this season. You can certainly belt the dress and wear it with skinny jeans, or of course wear it as a dress with flat summer sandals or feminine heels or wedges. We’ve shown some ideas below using two floral tank dresses that can be found on the racks now.

As for your original Ray-Bans - not only can you wear them now, but people are paying big bucks for vintage originals and the new “original” reissues.

Q. Help! I’ve been searching for earrings to wear to my wedding next month and I haven’t been able to find the right fit. It’s an outdoor, garden-style wedding and I’m wearing a narrow strapless ivory lace dress. I plan on having my hair up in a loose, romantic updo. Do you have any suggestions? I love these, but haven’t been able to find something similar.

A. We love an elegant dangling earring with a romantic updo and Taylor Swift’s waterfall chandelier earrings below are a perfect choice. We found several earrings with a similar feel in a range of prices:

Q. I am a below the knee amputee and am wondering what you would suggest I wear on a trip to the Virgin Islands this Spring. I don’t wear shorts, sandals or anything above the knee. I typically wear light weight pants, jeans and longer capris in the summer. Right now I am unable to wear heels, so I am always wearing flats and t-strap style sandals. I do wear a below the knee prosthesis. Thanks for some tips.

A. We suggest loading up on summery ethnic print tops and tunics, islandy maxi dresses, breezy drawstring linen pants and lightweight cropped jeans or pants. For shoes, this season’s update on the classic huarache is the perfect choice to wear with any of the aforementioned pieces, whether you’re lounging on the beach, having a poolside cocktail or touring the local town.

Q. Is there anywhere that I can buy bangle bracelets for smaller sized wrists? I love bangles, especially for the summer, but they always seem too clunky for me and can very easily fall off my wrists. Thanks!

A. Since bangles are designed to slip over your hand, this can leave them sliding up and down your wrists. Your problem is not uncommon, but don’t stress over it - you may just have to try on a few more options until you find a bangle that works. Look for adjustable bangles, or try cuff bracelets instead (which are adjustable) and visit some of your favorite teen stores - they usually feature great trendy options that are likely cut a bit smaller. Here are some adjustable options for you:

Q. I recently bought a ’50s dress with a brown polka dot motif on an ivory background. I love the dress, but every time I wear it it feels incongruous with my more simple and put together style. I’ve seen the polka dot pattern on a lot of garments lately- is there any way to wear this print without looking cutesy? How can I make it more grown up? Thanks!

julia_roberts2.jpg.jpegA. Whenever I think of a brown and white polka dot dress, I am always reminded of Julia Roberts’ iconic look from Pretty Woman. At the time, this was the epitome of a sophisticated look. Perhaps it’s because of this dress that I rarely think of polka dots as cutesy. In fact, unless your dress is filled with multicolored dots, it is more about the silhouette of the garment than the dotted print when it comes to sophistication. A ’50s style dress with a full skirt and fitted bodice is a classic, grown-up style. Try pairing a fitted cardigan and strappy sandals with your dress to make it look even more ladylike if you’re concerned.

To prove that your dress was a smart purchase, below are several age-appropriate polka dot dresses:

Q. I recently bought a pair of Banana Republic Martin fit black pants. Love the style and fit. But, I am trying to update my closet with some fun, summery tops to wear with them. Something in the “going out” category. A little more dressy. Any ideas? Thanks.

A. Look no further than this season’s feminine blouse to add a dash of chic to your basic black pants. Add some gorgeous jewelry and sexy heels for a great evening-out look.

Q. What are some low-cost, lightweight, pretty, airy (not clingy) knee-length (or shorter) white dresses for this spring and summer?

A. When the weather warms up, there’s nothing we love slipping into more than a summery white dress. We found many options for you under $100.


Q. Can I wear a turquoise silk/satin dress with hot pink platforms of the same fabric? I really don’t want to wear gold or silver shoes, so boring and expected. I think the contrasting colors look fun and sexy together. And, if I can get away w/ these colors, the real question is, what color wrap can I wear w/o looking like a crayon?

A. You can definitely wear your hot pink shoes with a turquoise dress, in fact, mixing colors is a big trend this season. The key to mixing colors successfully is to pair bold colors with other bold colors and pale colors with similarly pale colors. In other words, a pale pink shoe would not work as well as a bright pink shoe with your bright blue dress. Mixing in a third color can be tricky, so it’s best to keep your wrap neutral: ivory, white, gold, silver, nude, etc.

Q. I bought this little dress for an upcoming wedding that I will attend. How do I pull the look together with accessories without going over the top and looking too trendy? I was hoping to wear a pair of nude or beige shoes. What about a necklace or bracelet? Can the style chefs help me whip up a winning (and timeless) combo?

A. Colorful, printed and asymmetrical - a trio of trends in one chic little dress! Let the dress be the star of your look and choose neutral accessories in colors like nude, bone and gold. Skip the necklace (too fussy with the asymmetrical neckline) and opt for dramatic drop earrings and a chic gold cuff instead. Gold or nude shoes and a neutral evening clutch complete the look.

91P1003_10_b.jpegQ. I’ve been eyeing the Siwy camilla cut-off shorts in white, but they are very heavily distressed and I am concerned that they won’t hold together after more than a few washes in the washing machine. Do you have any thoughts on the heavily distressed denim trend? Is the trend likely to last? Will heavily distressed denim fall apart super fast?

A. These cut-off shorts are super hot right now, having been worn by such celebs as Nicole Richie, Ashley Olsen, Kate Moss and Vanessa Hudgens. A cute, casual style, they look great with loose tees and blouses.

True, heavily distressed denim is very trendy right now, but it doesn’t show signs of fading (ha!) any time soon. We say, if you’ve been eyeing these shorts, then go for it. And when they do eventually go out of style, they’ll still look great worn to the beach.

As for caring for your distressed denim, most items are specially treated so they won’t fall apart with normal wear. When washing them, it’s best to turn them inside out and wash on delicate cycle (or better yet, hand wash) and hang them dry. Don’t put them in the dryer!

Siwy Camilla Cut Off Shorts in White $159 at Get 10% off with coupon code: VIP10

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